tv Q A CSPAN February 23, 2014 11:00pm-12:01am EST
bout his book on washington politics. after that c-span's american series featuring two nterviews from capital hill&later a discussion about security at future olympic games. & a retired q congressional staff member and recent iscusses his review of bob gate's memoir titled th his own book "the party is over." mike, author of the "party is over" and bob gates book "duty" farther the better because up close it's truly ugly.
life did ears of your you spend working in congress. in congress years as a staff member, first as a staffer for congressman ohio and for a staffer for the budget committee was chairman. i was the analyst for national and then in irs 005 i moved on to the senate and worked at the budget committee there in the same capacity. > what do you think of that statement up close it's truly ugly? is; however, i ould want to testimony per that. it's been a long time habit and or reflex of veryone to criticized congress because they think that
public.es with the it truly has become to some of ee a horror show because the increased partisanship and polarization; however, it is an established hat is by the first article in the constitution. if we don't nurture it and good people do not go there ask and staffers do not go there one of ll have is the those chamber of deputy french third the republic. i don't want that. of nt young people instead going to wall street to go to ongress or to go to the executive branch. >> we invited to you come talk that you wrote about the bob gates book. we'll get to that in a second. bob t to go back to the gates book and another quote --
>> i know you've read this book. what do you think of that characterization? >> occasionally that's true. wish he had cited more instances of that. ometimes executive branch fficials are very carefully trained and vetted and screened through murder boards that at their executive agencies not to tell things to congress and seem to be answering the question and not answering the question. certainly do not believe in of a technique of witness adgering or a joe mc carthy
technique that the current senator from texas f-would you --ind his name >> ted cruz. use on d cruz would chuck hagel when he was a nominee leaving the inference insinuation he was somehow in the pay of iran or korea. that's something we don't need i would say hand,, problem is the other way. if it's an armed services hearing, rather than asking the ed questions about strategy, how long we're going working, if is it so, prove it, if there's a sitting in the witness chair, they tend to fawn over him. notice that with petraeus and
it with gates in his hearings when he was nominated secretary of defense by george w. bush. so thrilled he wasn't didn't ask the really hard questions. a lot of those pertain to his activities. he was involved in iran contraand a very prominent figure in the ci a. they required intelligence that moderating and hat intelligence was convenient. >> the gates book has moved to seller ne on the best list and i'm going to read back o you a quote from tom ricks with robably knows was the -- and he says the duty is
robably one of the best washington memoirs ever. what's your take. would you say the same thing? >> i would not conquer. i know of tom ricks a bit and i understand where he judgment.m on that attacking gates in anned saying he'sl way or the devil with horns, however, i his representation of ongress of the administration represents his own acts grinding. all grind our axes be sionally but it should seen as that. obama and biden ot a great deal of prominence,
but he in fact persuaded them to wanted, which was to dd troops in afghanistan to escalate the war that obama wanted to wind down. criticizing them to haveng the bad grace do you think when he persuaded hem to do something against their better judgment. >> you wrote a book a couple of ago the paper back version new out and you have a remises called "the party is over" what's the evolution of this for you and are you still a republican? >> i'm an independent even when working on the hilly regarded myself or tried to as a professional republican or any
member of a partisan organization. general, i think that served me well. fortunately served under said, well, the budget figures are what they are ways ere's only so many you can spend them. figures.e us the honest >> you wrote in that -- in your introduction -- well-informed?ic >> i do not think they're very informed at all. the a kind of pseudoinformation 1 gets from
news or msnbc which constraints primarily on trivial ties on candals on polarization and on revving up the respective bases. that's not the true information that people need. budget? the federal what are its components? how big is it? it is compared to our gross domestic product. really e things people all the to know. how does medicare work? it? ays for hese are the things that you find out when you're working monthly hrebg skylar level at the budge it committee know those eed to because budgets are essentially
priorities and a policy. t of are you ight say, kidding me? this stuff is boring. >> it's not boring. our taxes and hat shouldn't bore anyone and does things that are very important and sometimes very foolish. detailed had a more nowledge of that, they could vet their own leaders much better before they pulled the booth. n the voting >> the most national publications now about the this ment how it works is book on bob tkpwaeutsz. f somebody reads it from your perspective what are they reading and what are they miss something again, as i said, he's grinding his own axe. looking at it from the
who was ve of somebody rought in to solve a problem and congress isn't participating. little secret ty that people don't want to regarding the wars in fghanistan and iraq is they went on so long, probably three total onger than the period we were involved as bell world war ii. it's not that they hated the war weren't etnam there because great tumult there was no draft. people simply tuned it out. longer interested. when people are no longer you have to ask what is the point? we covered a lot of the gates book and so did
everybody else and here is bob in philadelphia being interviewed by a philadelphia inquirer reporter. watch this and just get to you react to it. administration opposed the invasion in iraq and really ndering you ever addressed that issue as far as you were concerned in this book. of you been asked and part the administration then, would you have supporbtd the iraq war? in the last chapter ort of summing up and reflections that i don't know -- i s hard for me to say what 2003. have advocated in i like a lot of people in the most other countries in the world initially all accepted the argument that addam had weapons of mass destruction. that's how the resolution got
passed. russia ence services of and china thought he had these weapons. your reaction. 20/20.dsight was i think that was an evaluation of responsibility. t the time around 22, as the eavily caveated footnoted and hedged intelligence reports that member of ble to any congress and any clear in the nt employee capitol you could see that it not a slam dunk. ambiguous. were n news organizations simply in the tank.
ipso facto that hussein had weapons of mass destruction because we say he has. have been indications for for instance hat u.n. cott writer the americ americ americ americ americ in iraq investigator that was not the indication of news organizations did give good coverage of whole issue. when you read some of their pieces it was much more ambiguous. where were you when the whole starting in arted '91. were you working on the hill
as was working on the hill military legislative assistant congressman caseic so that portfolio.retty busy >> now he's a republican governor of ohio. is correct. >> when we saw that we didn't raise the money for the war, how capital hill? on he was the chairman 69 budget committee. demand we raise the money before we spend it? isare you talking about 1991 this >> the last 20 years of all this expenditure. he was not me chairman. of little wrinkle that sort less ed that it was controversial at least in my war insofar e 1991 s saddam hussein had demonstrably in front of the whole world invaded another
country. that made it different. the other thing that makes it fiscal point of $60 billion oughly in then year dollars that it mostly raised by jim baker who was the secretary of state. around the world and collected checks from the from the japanese, from other countries that would benefit from getting saddam the oil artery of the world. rom that point of view, financing wasn't a problem. time the second iraq caseic was out of congress, deal with that issue on the house and then the senate budget committees.
here was some grumbling from members that for one thing the balled and was low when laurence lindsay of the economic nsel of advisors said it might cost -- i used was amount he he was-eighty billion -- gone. because they didn't want people quoting high figures. well, it's turned out to be a dollars. >> how do you spend a trillion dollars through all 535 members raising the ithout money? where do they put that off money? how do they raise it? >> it certainly was off budget money. by increasing the proportion nature
amount. grumbled about it but they certainly were not going to supply the troops with the wherewithal. the pentagon knows about that. the administration, whichever it is, whichever party knows that. nd they use it as a kind of male black >> you talk about joe biden in column and the way he writer. scott what was your point in bob gates in his book how much biden. red with joe > of course mr. gates was criticizing joe biden. when he was a enator, seemed to buy in as
early as 1998, '99, 2,000 to the notion that sadaam hussein did have weapons of mass destruction that some sort of forcible regime change -- in other words going in states and overthrowing him outcome.cceptable when scott testified before him aren'tll maybe the facts dried, biden was very condescend towards him and scottie boy. would have to say, however, ates's criticism is somewhat off the mark because a blind hog an acorn and ds people eventually learn after
everal years of the iraq war, which he voted for, he started perhaps. k things >> you mean mr. biden. vice. biden when he became president, he was not gung ho in in r of escalating afghanistan. other solutions than resistance bobat gates says that joe biden has wrong on every single foreign policy issue. as we saw in that clip, if saying he didn't have advocatedld think all the necessary information is in. he still is being ambiguous on that he's wrong.
of -- 's the video clip it's a hearing back with scott in the chair and it's joe iden being the chairman of the relations committee talking to him. >> i recommend the president have at it and let the chips they may. a reasonable position for the to take but defense major, tfully suggest, that responsibility is slightly slightly pay grade, above your pay grade to decide whether or not to take the or to take r alone he nation to war partway or take the nation to war halfway. that's a real tough decision. big's why they get paid the bucks and that's they get the limos and you don't. this sincerely. i'm not trying to be flip. >> your reaction. i rest my case on the
conned sense. is od public official who to ing on staff will listen them because they sometimes have granular information that they pick up on the gowned that would have ficial been in a position to learn the scott writteder learned. so, in order to make those earth shattering decisions that joe biden was talking about they to listen. he >> on your column that was critical of bob gate's point in the process did you get the idea and hat did you think of the media coverage? >> i thought it was fawning or subsidiary g on
did he wait as why until now to say this when the issue is why did he give and the vice president this vice and then them for taking it? >> why do you think that media somewhat fawning? sucked into this stereotype of od mr. smith, the truth teller from kansas, comes into washington how he can't stand and washington and its slimy politicians who only re-elected. he's he's been part of the public policy process off and on in washington since about 1970.
what moved you to write that? a good deal ere's of hypocrisy regarding who it is the sacrifices and who doesn't. united states and he public in the united states to almost onditioned have a knee jerk reflex of we which is e troops, fine, but who are we actually supporting? who benefits? who loses? bucks have a g wards? a who has to contest veterans disability rating? higher unemployment for heir age and demographic than the rest of the population at a
still have their service ties their service pensions and as front of use them men to sell weapons. does have an hing officers. serving pro 's no explicit kweud kwoe, but once you hit the officer or flag officer rank in almost all cases you know where you're going after retire. general n't retired don't they have the right to to?k anywhere they want >> they have the right, but way in years his it., omar bradley didn't do most of the generals in world didn't do it.
in a at on their porch rocking chair or did something else. it's a little too incestuous and companies, the revenues ity of their come from government contracts it's almost impossible where the government ends and where corporations begin. officials int is top of national or intelligence and nsa all cycle and forth between booze llen hamilton and their government jobs. booze allen hamilton is about 99 or 100% dependant on government contracts. of them are
intelligence contracts. >> by the way, are you retired now?the congress >> i'm totally retired. gain nothing from this. i'm not employed in any fashion. no present no party, interest, no tpabgs other than my own opinion. ofcould you have written any this when you a member of staff in congress? tried?way i would have >> why not? >> it would have been indiscrete nd certainly unprofessional as you are working and taking the king's schilling. one of the things that mr. gates i don't think was asked about is something that i found web.he he's a part of an outfit called hadly gates llc and an nternational strategic consulting firm out of silicon alley and offers advice on
extensive advice and works with executives to. condoleezza rice, steve hadly and bob gates. hat's the difference between that and working for a major defense contractor? relatively little. it's little to prohibit people, all want to stay in the ame and make money off their government service and is that's fine. ut it's fine for me to calm it out and say that there are conflicts of interest involved. taking over re now constitute at they arger and larger percentage of the actual workforce as the tries to itself personnel.d outsours
hen you have thousands of contractors in the building as were, does the dog wag the the or does the tail wag dog? >> let's go back to the conversation that bob gates had raps which he talks a lot about in the book do you know what it is? yes, i do it's one of those with as armored vehicles -shaped bottom to deflect roadside bomb blasts >> costs $500,000 a piece. to say tch what he has about this >> it was a newspaper series in that put ngton post" me on the problem with wounded that letat walter read me fire the secretary of the army. it was a newspaper story where i first read about these heavily vehicles.
-- marines had these and on all attackses not a single killed.had been i got briefings on it and i wanted to buy these things in numbers. there was no one in the department of defense at a or or level other civilian in uniform who supported that decision. and i basically said, well, gonna do it. he talks in the book about i think spending $27 billion or a huge number of them. very expense stkpwhreuf which dispose of. g to >> i don't want to be critical of the fact he was trying to of people who rode in them. >> i'm not critical at all when he's right on the point he's on the point. >> why would the military brass fight the pentagon
idea of spending money on that >> it didn't fit their plan. rather have the next eneration of tank than a relatively passive non fighting that simply transports greater ound all tb in safety. t just didn't fit into their weapons procurement plans. but tkpwaeutsz was right. my rant is not about gates, per although he does demonstrate ntermittently traits that i'm very critical of. right.t point he is owever, his problem with the military still persists after he is gone. dispose of most of somehow some genius
n the pentagon is getting the idea no future enemy is going to use roadside bombs against us anymore. the single most effective weapon iraq and afghanistan, so get rid of them. probably half them will be there.r back, her half shipped reconditioned and either sold to parties, other countries godoreign military sales or to us will be accessed police departments in the united states. gradual iege this domestic arization of police forces where they're no peace officer whose treat
increasingly zens they're s.w.a.t. teams dealing with targets they have to take down. a this is simply contribution to that and an ex is a basing of that. what's been -- when did you first come to this town? in 1983 freshly back from eshly europe burning shoe leather in the hauls of congress looking job. >> why? >> it fascinated me. the political process and i part of it. a >> where did you come from originally in riginally i was born akron, ohio, the buckle of the and by the late 'seventies i certainly wanted to there because there
weren't going to be sort of jobs that were necessary. my of that created philosophy about outsourcing, jobs overseas and the eindustrialization of america and the financialization of horribly dell tierious this is to the country, how the politicians and wall colluding together manage not to notice this and say that rising tide will lift all boats when if you look at it resembles dresden 1945. the fire bombing in >> what's caused this? all the factors we cutting, wage
deindustrialization, basically a blueprint written on form of tax he policy that allows this sort of thing, that insent advises exported, things o be out did the sourced and not made in america. could assistpolicy us. a many is certainly traditional industrial country. it's not faded bid a phpl smith r milton freedman that rich countries should lose industry. they certainly didn't lose theirs. you have book though a quote from huey pierce long in speech for reelection of in 1932 addy care way and the quote is --
>> you have to consider we went horrendous financial whose responsible depends on what party you're in. will blame bush, the the fact that chris cox at the securities exchange totally asleep at greenspan was en asleep at the switch and was omehow surprised all this happened. ell, yes, bush was response
aab able. was he anymore responsible than clinton who signed the act repealed the act of 1934 that kept investment and commercial banking separate. he signed that. signed the commodity 2,000 that on act in took all the wraps off how ative rating. that's credit swapz. so they're both responsible for this. to ask you about abels because you say you're not a republican or democrat. go back to the
interview of bob gates. in the book he says he's a and interview here he he's not what do the labels anymore. >> he call up and we were talking about something else and he said, i a sudden as largely responsible for talking president obama into running for president, i heard people on thet of hill. e said, but there is no candidate for vice president. how long have you been a registered republican? i'm actually not a registered republican. he said where do you stand on abortion. i said i don't have a stand on abortion. never come into the national security arena. it seems people say they're republicans and they're not when conveniented.
george he's a genuine bush con significant larry for things. >> if you look at his curriculum tend to facts would indicate that. in intelligence '80s that in the served the purposes of a administration. time in ack a second 2006 when george w. bush was more years of his second term and wanted to salvage iraq for his eputation and to get out in a kind of way that didn't look he had to deal flipped ress that had
and become democratic majority. gates was just the man. certainly not the man. >> so what's a republican today what's a pinion and democrat? i think to dispose he's an gates, ideological operative of the that exists ime whether you are a democrat or a oval office. the 90 kratsple pose aztec on national security non partisan experts policy.omics and fiscal but in reality they're all deeply ideological. believe in military force
abroad. washington in the onsensus or neo liberalism or ree market-style crony capitalism at home. the whole business about abortion is somewhat enlightening that he should raise that because these are the don't reallyle who bother about those sorts of issues. they understand that these are rev up the sions to ase and to polarize things hether it's gay marriage, abortion and some of the other social issues. the real issue for the permanent state is who gets what and how is the pie going to be cut up? there a point back some
years ago where you just flipped republican party? something that pushed away from republican? journey. a gradual first three years of had gingrich's speakership a lot of people scratching their hands. was a ve -- whoever talked to his total had support. -- it was a sort of of tic time of a lot movement and not necessarily progress. his best to h did destroy the old committee system that lies in ise committees. e tried to centralize everything in the speaker's
office. congress as down he did by abolishing the office assessment and cutting the -- at the time it was called the general office and now the officeent accountability these are support arms of intelligence give in both the factual and the cognitive sense. 1994 here's tom broke on newt gingrich becoming a speaker. >> election year politics now it when you thought couldn't get any uglier it does. he's p house republican already declared war on president clinton and his latest the white house aroused. all out war the republican whip attacked the president. over lunch in this republican
tkpwreufp rinning ist. lobby he promised the lobby kwreuft if win they'll use their new found subpoena power two years e next investigating corruption in the clinton administration. of any not know this administration with as many potential scandals all around it. i did not refer to the president or his wife or any individual. of id the follow behavior the administration is a threat to the american people. ago.hat's 20 years what's happened since then from your point of view? sort of mentality has infected the political process become standard procedure. weak and that is where
opponent.k your people who are ethically weak others on ethics. >> where do you come on money is speech? money is speech. corporations in for jury duty and make them registration if they are people. think it's a totally phony thing. the supreme court was totally in the tank on that one. the working left for john on capital hill who pecifically did you work for after that? of iowa and then i moved to the senate and worked for greg. r judd >> what happens again when the itting of this -- we're
now over $17 trillion in debt. ever say, stop? did they ever stay stop when you were there when you watched last 10, up over the 12 years? >> they weren't too concerned tax cuts.ush they weren't too concerned with trillion dollar war. so i guess the answer is no. >> what's going to be the answer future? basically it will be short termism and ad hoccism and have to figure out how to get around it. > do you get the sense somewhere back in the offices there is somebody sitting there matters. one of this >> i think there are.
default is y by electedeing made on the federal reserve board. policiesf our economic because congress can't do hishing, obama cannot drive genda through, it was defaulting to ben pwerpb knack janet.nd then many people have severe doubts fed and quantitative go ng and so forth and some off on conspiracy theories about the fed. certainly do not. they're doing the best job they were th the hand they given. e had a terrible financial meltdo meltdown, but it is unclear as that was the right
it's good d whether for the future. book they had a out at the g reporter, in the middle of his conversation obama answer had a question of his saying no peace nick. did we think he was going to be one? >> i certainly didn't. you carefully listen to his we're s, he was saying, gonna wrap up iraq. matter of fact, the status of forces agreement that -- that was already in place nder the bush administration provided that troops would be december 31st, 2011.
doing.t was not his said under my presidency we'll be under iraq. afghanistan as the good war that we should have been there even if we shouldn't in iraq. people tended to hear what they to hear. on civil liberty as well. talked a very good game but 2008 month before the voted ion at denver he only the foreign intelligence amendments bill essentially indemnify y comes in , the tell
spying in surveillance that wasn't legal. retroactively rubber stamped that. hen he made that vote i knew the fix was in. >> go back to the original come talkasked to you about the book and the column, did you get much reaction out of the column? >> i got a fair amount of column.n out of the virtually all of it was positive in that as we discussed there say, gaps n, shall we in his recollection or things he says in one place that don't things he said somewhere else. so much , it's not about about gates other than he person in important this drama called
iraq/afghanistan the war on associated issues profound effect on the american psyche. want to realize a less y're sort of id underneath our bravado about how good we are. practice things like torture and try to ation sweep them under the carpet. book, it was the leaked out to the "washington "new york times" and the wall street journal and then started interviews on television the view of it to the point where it became the number one best seller on the wall journal and the "new york times" best seller list. writing this ink
kind of a book at all. you wrote a book after you got out. if there is a difference between and this book and the this? of >> well, he's certainly entitled he wants and ook espouse any view he wants, just other member of the doeral public is entitled to google searches on robert gates, iran contra, robert gates soviet intelligence and other topics his ind out if recollections square with generally accepted public record. -- let me read a quote from bob gates in his book that talking to the president about going -- staying on as secretary of defense. he's saying know this to the president
the hard thing for people on this book is that a lot of the he was it said that critical of president obama. you get in here and he says a ot of very positive things about president obama. what about -- what was your and did you read the whole books? kind of it was that fashion. e maybe he could have used a better editor to smooth it out. we all have ambivalent about issues and other people. t some point you try to
reconcile i don't think he ever reconciled them at least in a clear to the reader. >> when you came to town, was republican? yes, i was. >> you changed your views over the time. going to go? you myit was probably -- i mean, repidations over newt's leadership style were leaderships over his style. where it became a matter of run-up to was in the the invasion of iraq. read the same stuff everybody hill or was the cleared to read and it didn't me.ince republican dful of members who politely listened to
in thing's gone 92 westbly turn out to be the bank on steroids you and may end surprised whether there's all those weapons of that they're on claiming. and they listened and they asked questions but it didn't change their votes spwhrfplt what made suspicious? and dick w. bush heney seemed a little too eager. everybody in the administration too eager a little and did not address relevant would have made it ambiguous andt or
the media were in the tank mostly. members of congress did not want seen voting against it. bush k the george w. administration was very clever vote just before the these election to get guys on record even though we ould not invade for another five months. for's kind of unprecedented declarationnt for a of war. >> where do you think he'll end up politically i'll end up independent because ideologies thought. you become to the extent you are partisan, you
ought tom ton who is propaganda and your brain is not engaged. if folks want to read your critique of the book by robert truthout.org. >> correct. >> thank you for joining us. here, brian. being for free transcripts forgive us comments about this program, us as q & a.org and available as c-span podcasts. >> the british house of commons
was in recess last week. prime minister's questions will not be shown tonight. you can watch question time when it returns this wednesday live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2 or next sunday at 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 midnight eastern time on c-span. >> coming up next, c-span's american profile series featuring two interviews from capitol hill. north dakota senator heidi hike can and south dakota this -- south dakota senator john thune. then, a discussion about security at the olympic games. >> next a conversation with heidi heitkamp.